– Chelsea Wolfe: May 27, 2014 in Toronto
Boxx Magazine | Chelsea Wolfe: May 27, 2014 in Toronto
Friday 01st August 2014,
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Chelsea Wolfe: May 27, 2014 in Toronto
Roxanna Bennett June 3, 2014
The room darkened and stage lights flickered looking like an electrical storm had befallen the Winter Garden Theatre as Chelsea Wolfe took the stage accompanied by the softly thundering intro for “Feral Love,” the first track from her most recent album Pain is Beauty.
built to an almost unbearable climax before Wolfe so. Throughout the 40-minute set, she did not address the audience until thanking them at the end of her performance.
An intimate and opulently restored historical venue, the Toronto theater was exceptionally well suited for Wolfe’s stripped down acoustic and strings set. Wolfe is currently opening for Eels, which might seems like a strange pairing at least in terms of audience. The Eels crowd seemed not only unreceptive to Wolfe’s music but actually rude, her performance punctuated by a barrage of people apparently unconcerned with interrupting Wolfe’s performance or disturbing members of the audience who were, in fact, only there to see her play.
Despite the dividing lines, Wolfe’s performance was magnetic. Accompanied by a keyboardist and a single violinist, the wall of sound rose above the crowd, the only illumination aside from atmospheric red lights being a few lit candles onstage. The whole scene was reminiscent of a classic horror movie with Wolfe’s music as the soundtrack and she the main character.
Wolfe has been open about her stage anxiety and seems intent on not drawing undue attention to herself but rather to her voice, which soars out of her still body with astonishing presence. “There is clarity in solitude,” Wolfe has said, and seeing her perform certainly fleshes out that idea. While onstage, she is physically solitary, unapproachably distant, while her music is insistently present, achingly clear and emotionally evocative.
The set list was mainly a mix of songs was from Pain is Beauty and her acoustic gem Unknown Rooms. “Appalachia,” “House of Metal,” and “Flatlands” were gorgeously sparse with looping vocal tracks that amplified Wolfe’s soprano and perfectly counterpointed the violin. Other songs from the set list included “Spinning Centers,” “Boyfriend,” ���The Warden” and “Sick.” As an opener, the 40-minute set list was abbreviated; we look forward to seeing what she does on her next much-deserved headlining trek.
Catch Chelsea Wolfe on tour:
6/1/14 – New York, NY @ Apollo Theater
6/3/14 – Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
6/4/14 – Madison, WI @ Barrymore Theatre
6/7/14 – Seattle, WA @ The Moore Theater
6/8/14 – Portland, OR @ The Aladdin Theater
6/10/14 – San Francisco, CA @ Palace of Fine Arts
6/11/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Orpheum Theater
6/19/14 – Calgary, AB @ SLED ISLAND
6/21/14 – Vancouver, BC @ Electric Owl
Photo by Zohn Mandel
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